Greg Lee, former UCLA guard under coach John Wooden, dies at 70

LOS ANGELES — Greg Lee, who helped UCLA win back-to-back national championships in 1972 and 1973 as a starting guard under coach John Wooden, has died. He was 70 years old.

Lee died Wednesday at a San Diego hospital of an infection related to an immune disorder, the university announced Thursday after being told by his wife, Lisa.

Lee became a starting guard for the varsity team as a sophomore in 1971-72, alongside Bill Walton and Jamaal Wilkes. The Bruins were 30-0 while winning games by an average margin of more than 30 points. They defeated Florida State 81-76 in the national title game.

The following season, the Bruins again went 30-0 and won the national championship, 87-66 over Memphis State.

In Lee’s senior year in 1973-74, UCLA’s 88-game winning streak was snapped by a 71-70 loss to Notre Dame. The Bruins’ national title streak also ended at seven when they were defeated by North Carolina State 80-77 in double overtime in the NCAA Tournament semifinals.

Lee averaged 5.8 points and 1.5 rebounds in 88 games with the university, which went 86-4 in his three seasons.

At that time, freshmen were not allowed to compete, so Lee, Walton and Wilkes helped UCLA’s freshman team to a 20-0 record while Lee averaged 17, 9 dots.

Lee grew up in the Reseda neighborhood of Los Angeles. His father, Marvin, played basketball at UCLA under coach Wilbur Johns, who preceded Wooden.

After leaving UCLA, Lee played professionally in the ABA and NBA. He briefly played for the Portland Trail Blazers in 1975-76, reuniting with Walton, before playing in Germany for several seasons.

Throughout the 1970s, Lee competed on the professional beach volleyball circuit. He won 29 titles while appearing in 39 finals during his career.

After his playing days ended, Lee earned a teaching degree from UCLA. He taught math at Clairemont High in San Diego and coached college basketball and tennis.

Besides his wife of 48 years, Lee is survived by his son Ethan, his daughter Jessamyn Feves and his brother Jon.


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